Celebrate Mom and Cool Off with This Refreshing Mint-Infused Watermelon Summer Salad

Mother’s Day became an official American holiday in 1914 thanks to the efforts of West Virginia activist Anna Marie Jarvis, who had pushed for years to create a day to honor the mothers of the world and their impact on society. The tradition quickly spread internationally and has not only endured but grown in popularity over the past century.

In Louisiana most years, summer heat is in full effect by the time Mother’s Day rolls around on the second Sunday of May — even though the first day of summer is weeks away. For a simple recipe to celebrate this holiday and also help keep you cool, we turned to Steve Diehl of Twine Market and Deli in Baton Rouge, which creates fresh dishes daily with an emphasis on using locally raised meat and produce.

Diehl suggested a watermelon summer salad with mint vinaigrette, which the shop sells by the pound to hungry customers. The recipe combines the sweetness of watermelon with salty and creamy feta cheese — all topped with a bright mint vinaigrette that evokes the sunshine of summer. Cucumber, radish, tomato and thinly sliced red onion finish off this crowd-pleasing and refreshing salad.

“It’s very summery,” Diehl says. “You’re going to taste the watermelon, and the cucumber and radish give a nice crunch to the salad. The mint vinaigrette rounds those flavors out nicely.”

This easy-to-make salad is a perfect Sunday picnic dish — preferably after a comfortable breakfast in bed for Mom. We recommend pairing it with Community® 100% Colombia Altura coffee. Carefully sourced from the Andes Mountains, where the high altitude is known for developing a rich, bright and winey flavor, this blend will nicely complement the fruity summer flavors of this salad.

Watermelon Salad

  • 2 cups watermelon, seeded and cut into cubes
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 cup radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 English cucumber, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

Combine ingredients in large bowl and mix thoroughly.

Mint Vinaigrette

  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced shallots
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Combine all but the olive oil in a food processor until minced, then slowly add olive oil until blended. If you don’t have a food processor, simply combine the ingredients in a bowl and whisk while slowly adding the olive oil. Toss the salad ingredients in the dressing.